Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review Darryl Linington
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User Rating: 6.9 (2 votes)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a 2017 science fiction action film written and directed by Luc Besson and co-produced by Besson and Virginie Besson-Silla. The film is based on the French science fiction comics series Valerian and Laureline, which was written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a visual thrill ride that manages to keep the audience captivated from start to finish. This visual spectacle kicks off with special operatives Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) working together to retrieve an ancient creature. In order to do so, the duo travel to a massive virtual reality styled market, which should be applauded for its visual excellence. It’s here that Valerian enters Big Market to retrieve said creature.

While things go according to plan during the initial stages of the retrieval mission things predictably go wrong as Valerian’s equipment malfunctions. It’s at this point where the action begins and Laureline has to step in in order to pull her partner out of his action-filled situation (something that happens often throughout the film) before he is either killed or captured by those who are also after the creature. Throughout these scenes as well as the rest of the film, Luc Besson brings to life this sexy French comic book series as well as creates a visual masterpiece that includes eye-popping visuals and some beautifully crafted costumes and characters.

While Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is an eye-popping masterpiece when it comes to visuals… it, unfortunately, features a lack of chemistry between both leads as well as a mediocre script. Valerian is, from the start of the film, branded a womaniser by Laureline; however, this does not stop him from pursuing her and even going as far as proposing to her. This all felt a tad bit forced as Valerian essentially hits on Laureline every chance he gets while Laureline simply shoots him down for the most part. While it was entertaining at first it ultimately becomes a tiresome affair of watching two characters force the chemistry.

Apart from the lead characters, Rihanna also makes an appearance in the film. While her scenes were limited and short, they were most definitely a highlight of the film. Her killer dance moves and flawless voiceover really added to the entertainment factor of the film… it’s just a pity her role was so small as her character was one that was indeed interesting at that.

Apart from the mediocre script, forced chemistry, and Rihanna’s short screen time… Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is actually a pretty good film. It’s an entertaining visual masterpiece that packs in a plethora of action in between. For us, it’s a must watch… that’s if you can handle the forced chemistry between the characters.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets releases in South African cinemas on the 21st of July, 2017.

By: Darryl Linington
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